The season began so well for the Jets. Quarterback Mark Sanchez had the offense rolling in a demolition of the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. The promise of some Tim Tebow-led plays excited fans and media alike.
But things began to fall apart. The Jets lost star cornerback Darrelle Revis to a season-ending knee injury early in the season. Then they dropped five of their next six games. Players grumbled to the New York Daily News about Tebow being "terrible," while Sanchez has been horrible of late, especially against the Patriots and Titans.
Ultimately, coach Rex Ryan finally removed Sanchez as the team's starting quarterback. But it wasn't Tebow who got the job. That role went to third-stringer Greg McElroy.
But more heads will roll this offseason, and fans have already begun the finger-pointing over who is to blame for a 2012 season that can be considered a disappointment at best.
So who deserves the most wrath over this mess? Is it the front office, the coaching staff or the quarterbacks? Ultimately, there's enough blame to go around.
GM has to go
Owner Woody Johnson is gaining a reputation that he's more interested in headlines than victories.
Bobby Blackjack, who hosts the New Jersey-based "Talking Football Live" radio show, blames Johnson for the Tebow mess.
"Why bring Tebow in ... and not use him?" Blackjack asked.
For better or worse, Jets fans are stuck with their owner, but the same can't be said for Mike Tannenbaum. The general manager, whose strength is managing the NFL's salary cap restrictions, gave Sanchez a contract extension during the offseason that guarantees the passer $8.25 million in 2013. He also executed the trade for Tebow.
Corey Griffin, who hosts SNY's TheJetsBlog Podcast says Tanenbaum must go: "It's time to hire a GM with legitimate scouting and personnel experience."
Rex: Blame me
Ryan took every opportunity Tuesday to accept responsibility for the team's 6-8 record, but it is believed he will still be coaching Gang Green in 2013.
"I don't think Rex Ryan is losing his job yet," Blackjack said.
Blackjack and Griffin agree that Ryan kept Sanchez as the starter for too long.
After the Jets missed the postseason in 2011, they fired offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and tabbed coach Tony Sparano to run the offense with a heightened focus on the run. The numbers show marginal improvement on the ground and a giant step back in the passing game. For Griffin that isn't enough, and he called the hire "one of Rex Ryan's worst decisions" as coach.
"Sparano entered a situation that was already toxic," he said, "but he did nothing to fix it."
Mark lacks confidence
Sanchez has had his fair share of bad games that have cost the Jets victories. Much of the problem could be in his head.
"His confidence is shot," Blackjack said.
Various media outlets have reported that the team will shop both Sanchez and Tebow this offseason. Though that's an indication that the Tebow experiment failed, Blackjack finds it hard to point to him for the Jets' troubles this season.
"I think Tebow is innocent in this," he said. "I think he was sold a bill of goods" to come to the Jets with a chance to start if things went bad with Sanchez.